Mini FPV Tricopter

by EMaglio, published

Mini FPV Tricopter by EMaglio Nov 2, 2014


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Here's my latest design, a 3D printed mini tricopter. I wanted an FPV racer, but also something that would stand out from the masses of other minis out there. It's either 250 or 280 size depending on the arms installed. Complete specs:

  • SunnySky 2204 2300kV motors
  • Gemfan 5x3 Props
  • Magic 12A ESCs with SimonK
  • Glacier 3S 1000mah Battery
  • Naze32 Flight Controller
  • HS-55 Tail Servo
  • PZ0420M FPV Camera
  • HobbyKing TS5823 Mini Video Transmitter
  • 6x M3x14mm screws for the body/arm connections
  • 2x M3x8mm screws for the battery cover
  • 1x M3x35mm screw, 2x M3 washers, and 1x M3 lock nut for the tail
    I sell kits for those without 3D printers, though I have a feeling that everyone on here would rather print one for themselves. Enjoy!


Recommended print settings:

  • Layer height: 0.2mm
  • Number of Perimeters: 2
  • Bottom Solid Layers: 3
  • Top Solid Layers: 3
  • Infill: 50% for the tail motor mount, 20% for everything else
    I usually print in PLA for better inter-layer adhesion and more rigidity, but ABS should be fine as well.

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Comments deleted.

Interesting that you use a tilt mechanism in the back, I would have thought even with only 3 rotors, you could still get all the necessary degrees of freedom to fly properly.

Not without tilt. You have 2 motors going one direction and 1 motor going the other. So you have twice the torque in one direction that you need to counteract with the tilt rotor on the back (technically any motor could be tilted). With most multirotors you see motors in counter rotating pairs (even numbers of motors) but with a tri you have to counteract the torque with tilt.

As an argument you could say "Well why not just spin the 2 motors slower than the one motor to even out the torque?" unfortunately this would create an unbalanced tricopter and you'd end up flipping end over end as you'd need all motors providing even thrust (thus at the same RPM and torque). Then you're back to the 2x torque in one direction and you're yawing uncontrollably (or really just spinning...)

Yeah I thought about it some more and thought it might be a bit unstable but not that much. I guess you are still saving weight of a 4th arm, prop, and whatever difference from servo vs dc prop motor, and probably a little power consumption. Thanks for the explanation, as well as BOM in your Thing post. Just sold my Parrot 2.0 and will hopefully dive into DIY drones soon! :D

hello, i have made this super tricopter, with some modifications off remix parts, only the arms more long to put 6040 prop. but i have a problem, the arm rear, modified to have a best tilt mechanism, but only with small arms.. can you just make the same arm, best of the original, (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1055745) but a little bit longer like (Tail_Arm_280mm)?

Alternative Tail for Tricopter
by floppah

for stepper24, a tricopter have a clokwise 1 and anticlowise 2.

Hi. Can you tell me please if i need the motor in CW or in CCW direction. Have you an wiring diagram of this copter? Thanks

what is the difference from frame botton and alternativ frame botton!
I have printed the longer arms and there are to big for the frame bottom!

What is the difference from frame bottom and alternativ frame bottom?

does the copter come with propeller blades

Do you need a specific controller for this tricoptor??? I have a regular quad receiver

did you wire all the esc together or use a distribution board?

Hello, great design. I've just started printing! Please can you post the .stp file for the alternative 7mm hole body please?

Thank you,

Telly - in reply to Telly

Hi again, i've made my change. Do you still supply kits?

Hi Just added this remix for an alternative tail for this tricopter using the BMS 22HV digital all metal gear 8v servo.


Mini Tricopter Tail for BMS 22HV 8v servo
by billyd

I've read your thread on this tricopter on RCGroups and must say I'm really disheartened by the way people either don't understand or don't care to respect your intellectual property rights and the non-commercial restrictions of the license.

I wanted to thank your for sharing the design and inspiring me to design my own vaguely similar, but totally different mini-tricopter. But based upon your experiences, I'm not so sure that I will share it on thingiverse. Not exactly sure what I'm going to do with it. I may just print a few for myself and friends.

It's really a shame that a few freeloaders feel they are entitled to steal someone else's work and then resell it, or attempt to get someone else to steal it for them (3DHubs, etc).

Thanks again,

What is the max battery size that will fit in the tray ?

What?!?! I swear I saw a different name! It was titled like modified tail boom tricopter or something like that and it was a yellow printed tricopter instead of orange!! That just goes to show how bad I read late at night!!!

Comments deleted.

Did you notice the name of the person who created this thing? ;-)

Comments deleted.

I finished the build, installed a 10dof naze board. Everything seems right. The motors respond to the gyros properly, the tail servo seems to respond properly but the default tricopter settings in cleanflight produces extreme oscillations. Any suggestions?

I figured it out. My p's were too high.

I just finished my build. It came out great, flies great.

I'd like to see you add a method to close the frame halves at the leading edge. Mine seperates at the front, probably due to slight warping of the frame halves. I used ABS so this is almost unavoidable. Perhaps you could add a self tapping boss just above the lens hole on the front and a hole in the top half to accept a screw?

What was the cost of the electronics for this? What kind of controller should be used and what about the antennae? Thnx. looking forward to trying to build this.... :)

Also, if I don't need the camera, is there anything else I can cut from the shopping list to reduce price?

Jan 2, 2016 - Modified Jan 2, 2016

Well that's a question with a million answers. I paid about $100 for the motors, esc's, props and servo. I used the RMRC DODO flight controller with triflight ver.4 firmware. That's another $50. You'll also need an RC receiver. This depends on what type of RC transmitter you own. Recievers can cost anything from $20 to $100's depending on what kind. The camera and video transmitter would probably add another $100 or so, but you can go a little cheaper or much more expensive depending on what you buy.

My electronics cost me about $300 (including the camera and video tx). So the short answer is you are probably looking at $200 or so to get it flying (no video). But like I said in the beginning of this post, the possibilities are endless cost wise. You can do it a little cheaper if you go really cheap, or you can spend a fortune too.

I have a transmitter for an RC plane from hobbyzone. The transmitter is technically a 4 channel, but the plane is a 3 channel. If I get a 4 channel receiver and the motors, ESC, props, servo, etc. , will that work? Thnx a bunch. :)

Jan 2, 2016 - Modified Jan 2, 2016

No not really. You need 4 channels for flight control, but then that leaves you no channels for switching modes and configuration of the flight controller.

If you are considering getting into RC multirotor flight more seriously I would suggest getting at least an 8 channel radio. Although you can get by with a 6 channel. Alot of people like the Fr Sky Taranis X9D. And you can get a compatible receiver for it for around $20. That transmitter with receiver is around $200-$220 depending upon options

A cheaper solution would ba a Flysky th9x also known as Turnigy 9x as well as other names, the great thing about this 50 to 80$ TX is, receivers are dead cheap, and you can upgrade it with openTX Firmware (same as on the taranis) and change the module later to a FrSky or UHF one. A bit more work then a Taranis, but less costs to beginn with and it can grow with you.

For the other components, if you buy on places like Banggood you can get away with a LOT less then other sites, And they are not generaly bad, they just lack Quality Control you can be lucky or not, but even if you get a bad part, they often replace it without any fuss, and even if not (never happend to me) you can get like 3 cheap Motors for the price of Tiger or Cobra Motor.... (same for other components). My first complete Quad (ZMR250) costed me 90$ + 25 for the FPV Setup (well +TX Googles, batterys and charger)

Of course. I had mentioned the costs can vary widely for any of this stuff. I have found that some of the super cheap stuff can be problematic, so I tend to stick to the middle tier. But there are so many choices and especially if you don't mind waiting for a China shipment you can go crazy cheap. The reason I mentioned the X9D is it's a radio that can last someone a lifetime in RC. At $200 it is relatively cheap given what the transmitter can do (similar capabilities in other radios can cost in excess of $1000) and you can get receivers for it for $20 as well. There is really nothing the X9D can't do, so you will almost never hit a wall with it, in terms of functionality. But certainly your suggestions are more than adequate to fly this tricopter and plenty of other things. But if you are going to get into the hobby more seriously, I find it's best to go ahead and make the investment, rather than ending up with a dozen different cheaper radios.

Very nice design thank you.

I was always under the impression that PLA doesn't do well over time outdoors. I tend to stick to ABS for structural stuff because of the little bit of flex it can absorb shocks better.

Very nice and well thought-out design. It would be nice to have some built-in mounting points for the electronics, but of course that could give the appearance of limiting peoples choices. I guess double stick tape works just fine.
I'd also like to see something a little more organic and aerodynamic looking, maybe a little more futuristic rather than a coffin appearance. Maybe I'll take a crack at a ground-up remix. From a functional design standpoint, your design is really awesome. Thanks!

I am really interested in one of your tricopters. I am new to FPV just got my first set of fatsharks. I fly a fltest tricopter and love how they feel in the air. If you could let me know shipping cost, I love one either in blue/silver or silver/red with a extra set of arms. Love the look and how the electronics are coved. Never thought about a 3D printer till I saw this. Thank you so much.

Is there angle arms out there for this? For a more self leveling and better control. Or is that something that would be good for this at all?

Can someone post their PIDs with baseflight or cleanflight?

IS there anybody out there with a file for openpilot that i can use

Can someone provide a link or some guidance as to wiring everything up?

I made an alternative tail assembly for the tricopter that is a lot less wobbly than the original for improved handling characteristics.
You can find it here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1055745

Alternative Tail for Tricopter
by floppah
Comments deleted.

Can you share the schematics?!
Did anyone tried printing in PET?

Comments deleted.
Sep 20, 2015 - Modified Sep 20, 2015

I'm hoping to make this my first diy multirotor and I'd firstly like to say great design! Thanks so much for making this available to the community for free!

I have one question, is it alright to use a different motor? I'm looking at Multistar Elite 2204-2300KV. About the same as the sunnyskies with just 2 more grams of weight. Also, with CW and CCW motors, how many of each type do I need? where are they placed?

Also, do I need more than one ESC?

Finally, what remote transmitter thingy do you use?

Hi, thanks for this great design.
This is my maiden flight.

Hi EMaglio,
pretty neat design, I really like it.
Is there any chance you could elongate the design or move the supports in the battery compartment to allow accommodation of longer 95mm 3s 1500mAh batteries?


Hi i like this what transmitter do you use please

I assume he is just using a 2.4Mhz RC remote. If you are just looking for something simple to get starter, try checking out HobbyKing's Orange remote or a Turnigy/Flysky 9X style remote, either of which should be less than $50-70 to start with cheap recievers.

Hope that helps. You might also consider checking out FliteTest on YouTube, which is how I started getting interested in Multi-Rotors.

nice work, im printing. how is weight?

Hi, nice work !

Can you tell us what remote controller do you use to control the quad and if it's possible a to-do list how to assemble it.


I suggest to change Infill from 20% to 40%. I found arms are very fragile, at least for me.

yes im look for a 4 way motor mount for the 2300kv motors the one in hear is not the right size for the bolt patterns for the emax 2300kv motor do u have a fix or redirect me to the right fix or print. thank

May 14, 2015 - Modified May 14, 2015


When printing the large objects in ABS they tend to warp on the outside edges.
Any tips concerning this issue?



What's the total cost of this for this? excluding printing the parts.

Depends on what you throw into it. I would consider mine a pretty low priced build. You could certainly get more expensive motors and ESCs. My build:
Motors: $30
Escs: $24
FC: $20
OSD: $12
BEC: $10
Camera: $30
VTX: $30
Tail Servo: $5
Batteries: $12 a piece...just counting 1.

Total: $173USD

I'm sure that's probably a little low. Let's just call it $200.

What did you do for the controller? also, what about the antennae? thnx

Hello all.
Thanks to Eric for a great design. I've got two kits from him and the build is just beautifull. Great to see some really nice builds out there. I'm using Naze32 full and have it almost dialed in, except the tail. I just can't get it to stop shaking after rudder input to either side. It turns then keeps shaking after rudder is released. I've played a lot with PID but have not found a working set up. I used the settings suggested by Eric but still getting the shaking and the servo link has no play at all. Any suggestions welcomed.

Rcexplorer has tricopter firmware for tricopter. It worked for e

I ended dropping my P by a good deal. I want to say it's around 3.5. I'm also using a digital servo...not sure if that matters. My tail would actually twitch a good deal just sitting there with a little nudge. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBh1Yp1NkAQ

I thought the servo or FC was messed up but lowering the yaw P a LOT fixed the issue. In the air this caused the quad to yaw back and forth violently. May not be the same issue you're seeing...

Hmm, sounds like there's not enough damping. I'd suggest increasing the yaw "D" term little by little until you get fast oscillations, then reducing it a bit. That should help lock in the tail response.

Awesome design, Am going to print one. Is there any chance to make a prop guards for 6" prop for new fliers

Printed quite a few of these love the design, just a few snags like gap at front between halves, I added a block inside top part so you could add a screw up through camera hole to hold together but not usable when camera is fitted, so I am looking at how to add a screw maybe from below or one on each side of camera hole.

I am using 3mm brass inserts, pushed in will soldering iron, work really well to screw on legs etc.

Changed front arms to print flat like rear arm, and so they are much stronger, found that the foot was breaking off. A separate motor plate bolts on top, 16mm hole spacing to suit the 1806 motors.
Rear motor tilt also has been beefed up, again found broke easily due to printing layers, also bit longer to increase resolution, servo not working as hard
files added to my page.

How much for one to the UK?

Hi Just printed all the components Please can you advise where I can buy the motors and all the control gear. I have several control receiver units which could be used and tuned to whatever freq etc but need to find where I can get all the other bits motors etc etc Cheers L lloyd

Mar 22, 2015 - Modified Mar 22, 2015

Hello Emaglio I first saw your tricopter design on Flite Test forums almost a year ago and have been admiring your 3D printed mini tricopter. I am interested in buying one but am curious if there is an option to fit 6 inch propellers and an immersion rc 250 mW transmitter Is there a way I can do this? Also how should I go about ordering one?

Thank you

EMaglio - in reply to

Yes, the longer 280 size arms will allow 6" props to fit. It's a bit tight inside, but you should be able to get an in immersionRC 250mW video transmitter in there. Could always put it in a more open part of the frame and use a short SMA antenna extension cable to reach the antenna hole. If you'd like to buy a printed kit from me, send me a private message and I'll reply via e-mail.

Mar 22, 2015 - Modified Mar 22, 2015
Holey - in reply to EMaglio

I would love to buy one! Just one more question would this camera fit also? The aluminum case does come off making it much smaller and lighter.


And this is a slightly off topic question, how do I send a private message?

TJOpitz89 - in reply to

I would not suggest that camera. I bought the FatShark Teleporter v3 kit and it came with this camera. The video quality isn't all that great and the metal case it's in is very heavy. There are a lot of good cameras out there for less money. That was the first thing I replaced when I bought that package.

EMaglio - in reply to

If you click on my username you can send me a message.

Not sure about that camera, looks a bit big.

I have sent you a personal message.

EMaglio - in reply to

I replied a while ago, check your e-mail.

Mar 23, 2015 - Modified Mar 23, 2015
Holey - in reply to EMaglio

I'm sorry I did not receive an email. I re-entered my account so it might work now. I apologize for any inconvenience.
If I should send another personal message let me know.

Holey - in reply to Holey

How much does one frame cost with the arms fitting 6 inch propellers?

I finally have a Naze32 on the way and was wondering how you all mount them? Double sided tape or some other way?

Can you post the stp to the tail arm also? My servo is 22.8 wide and 12mm high. I would post the remix up after I "attempt" to modify it.


Question about assembly..I printed it in ABS and at 0.3 mm layer height. The arms don't fit into their slots and I'm having to sand them down a bit to get them to fit. Is that normal or does layer height when printing make that big of a difference?

The arms are designed to fit easily, but I suppose it could vary from printer to printer. It might help to reduce your extrusion width a bit.

I didn't have that issue. But I printed with PLA. They fit right in. Interesting that you're having an issue with ABS as it tends to shrink more. Did you check to see if it printed the parts with the correct dimensions?

I have either missed it or haven't seen it, what do you all use for power distribution? On a much larger Quadcopter I built I used a power distribution board. Any suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

It's not necessary, you can just solder all of the ESC power leads together.

Thanks. And thank you for sharing this awesome little Tricopter. I'm really looking forward to getting mine built.

Whats the biggest size we would need to be able to print? Estimated cost for an up and running kit, for someone with only a lipo charger?

Video of my maiden flight (and crash) from yesterday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtbztZDGcA0

Thanks for creating and sharing this awesome little tri. Today i had the first flights (and crash), and i am still very impressed. Looks so nice in the air, i will fly it LOS.

Has anybody flown this with a flip32+ using cleanflight??? thats my setup and i cant get it to fly. as soon as the motors have enough lift to takeoff the tri spins violently out of control. I have gone into CLI and changed the yaw_direction = 1 and to -1 with no improvement. I have also tried reversing the channel in my radio.

Also be sure that the servo was center before securing the horn. If it wasn't, it'll think it's turning to correct, and get confused when that doesn't happen; increasing it's instability.

It's definitely a yaw controller tuning issue. Make sure the tail servo responds in the correct direction to resist yaw motions, then start working with the PID values. The defaults are probably a bit high, so try cutting the Yaw P term in half and then slowly increasing it until you get solid tail performance without oscillations.

How fast goes he with 2204 2300kv and 12 amp esc eith a board camera?

Feb 8, 2015 - Modified Feb 8, 2015

Just wanted to say "thank you". For sharing your design and effort you put into that beauty.

Really love the design, once it's built with all the fpv gear, it will look very clean with all the wiring and components inside the frame.

Just linked the one I made in T-Glase and ABS.

I wonder if it would be a good idea to use an HS-5055Mg digital servo or if the standard HS55 would be just as good?

I switched to an HS-5055MG after stripping my HS-55 servo gears in a crash. It needed some PID gain changes since it's a slower servo than the analog version, but otherwise there isn't much difference in performance.

I'm having an hard time trying to configure my CC3D when inside the tricopter... the only connection available is a usb mini port under the board, so everytime there's something to adjust (and at this stage I have plenty of things to configure) I have to open the chassis and get the board out of the model...
any suggestion?
of course I'm still loving it, now I want to fly!

b0ba - in reply to elFranZ

May be I am too late with my answer, but I did not get your problem. If you turn pcb 90grad right your usb connector will be directly across the hole. I am using classic CC board and I have no issue to connect usb without any additional holes.

I use a kk mini :) all setting on screen :)


Open a hole in the bottom like RAIDAN

Mini FPV Tricopter
by Raldan

Can the CC3D take a bluetooth module? This is what I use on my Naze32. Works wonderfully!

I'm new to CC3D, but I'll check, that sounds like a good option for my needs, thanks ;)

Jan 19, 2015 - Modified Jan 19, 2015

Could you make a base without the hole for the antenna? Or could you upload the parts in an editable file format?

Feb 22, 2015 - Modified Feb 22, 2015
netmare - in reply to MadsT

I created a press fit "plug" for the hole. I will see if I can dig it and then I'll upload it for you. Nothing fancy, just a plug.

Looks nice. But i was able to edit the files.

Just printed one of these little buggers out. Man it's going to be a tight fit with FPV gear in there!!

I'm going to be using the following:

3s 1000-1300 mah battery (with tall battery cover)
3x Multistar 1704-1900 motors with 5x4.5x3 blade hi-model props
3x Turnigy Plush ESC's, 12A flashed with BLHeli
RTFQ Flip 1.5 or 2.5 with directly attached lemon DSM2 RX (will save TONS of space not having to find space for a receiver.

FPV Gear? don't know yet. Nothing high power as this little guy won't be able to get too far.

Can you make the antenna hole 7mm ? So a sma adapter can fit onto it ?

No problem, I've added the modified file.

what is the purpose of servo?

The servo tilts the rear motor. Without it the tri would spin like a top and could not yaw. The servo is needed to yaw the tri as well as counteract the torque from the motors. Quads and Hexs do not need a servo as they have an even number of motors and can have equal numbers of motors spinning in opposite directions to counteract the torque from the motors. As a tri has an odd number of motors it cannot counteract the torque of the motors using opposing motors alone and must tilt one of the motors to provide vectored thrust.

Hey -

I've got this thing almost totally together (just need a smaller battery) and to figure out the linkage for the tail servo.

Can you tell me what linkage / setup you used to connect the tail servo dogbone to the tail motor mount? I'm using a bent section of an old airbrush needle, but I don't think its strong enough - the motor is wiggling all over the place when i arm it.

It's just a steel pushrod with a couple of z-bends in it. Diameter is about 2mm or so. If you find a rod that's no smaller than the holes in either the servo arm or tail motor mount, you should be able to avoid excessive slop in the linkage.

Here's some video from this weekend...the first minute is the downlink from the tri: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WTcu6D7Ah0

I really love how this tri flies! I think I like it better than my mini quad but I wish it were as durable! I still have a little wobble at wide open throttle that I can't seem to get rid of with any amount of TPA. I'll have to work on it a little more next weekend. I may try using a similar PID setup that I'm running on the quad with a low looptime.

Dec 7, 2014 - Modified Dec 8, 2014

Hello all,

Would anyone who has finished their buid please post close-up pics of their wiring and components placement inside?
I'm eager to have my Tri up and flying but having a hard time choosing components and their placement.
I'm particularly interested in:
Flight Controller used
Camera options and mounting: I purchased the new PZ0420M (Mini) which is only 25 x 25 but don't know quite how to attach it there. I might need to get the plastic case for it, but fear I'll jeopardise space.
I tried to fit a Naze32 but was not able to. The side servo pin header would not allow for placement. Are you guys using the Naze32 mini version? Would the Openpilot Atom be a good alternative?

All comments and suggestions will be appreciated.


Just take a bunch of wires and pack them in there...that's what mine looks like :-/ I'm running the AfroMini which saves some space...but I occupied that space with a MininOSD board and a Bluetooth module. Complete component list is under my build: http://www.thingiverse.com/make:104019 I have a Mini PZ0420 coming as well which I'll attempt to mount in here. Provided it fits I'll create a mount for it similar to the FatShark one I made. I would take it apart to get some pics but I fear I wouldn't be able to get everything back in there!

Mini FPV Tricopter

Hi Jose, I'll e-mail you a couple pictures of the component placement next time I have the frame opened up. I use a regular Naze32 rotated 90 degrees about the yaw axis so that the USB port aligns with the hole in the frame. I also just installed the same PZ0420M camera you've got.

Hello Eric,

Please do let me know when you get that little cam in there and how. I'm still waiting for parts. Only things needed are ESC's (KISS ESC's from Flyduino Store / Germany - on their way) and figure out a way to mount the FPV cam PZ0420M - Mini
ps. I you end up printing a mount for the cam of some sort let me know so I can purchase it.


I ended up making a tilted mount like jwellman's: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:566276, only a little larger to fit the PZ0420M.

Mini Tricopter Camera Mounts

I'm using a PZ0420M now as well and have added a variant to that collection.

I almost have mine done. My bottom piece warped a little so when I put the 2 pieces together i have a little gap in the front. I am not very proficient in 3d modeling yet but I think I little tab inside the nose from the second piece to the bottom piece that would snap together to hold the front tight would be very beneficial. This is a Great design very streamlined. thanks for sharing this.

this is my first print project and I am very excited. should I print it all with support?

No, support is not necessary.

Dec 6, 2014 - Modified Dec 6, 2014
jwellman - in reply to EMaglio

While it will print ok without support I found that I needed a little support around the bolt holes in the top cover piece to keep things looking sharper. If you can place support manually with your slicer I would recommend adding some around the 2 side bolt holes. If not I wouldn't bother.

Nov 30, 2014 - Modified Nov 30, 2014

Hi EMaglio,

the TRI is flying great!
Use the Hobbyking Elite 2300kV Motors and HQ 6X3 Props:



With the Mobius Action Cam on the Battery cover mounted, I reach 7-8 Minutes Flight Time with a 1000mAh 3S Lipo - Problem is, that my prefered Lipos would be the Turnigy Nano Tech with 1500mAh - but then the Frame Top Part is too tight to get them in without braking/to modify the Frame Top Part.
I even tested my 2200 mAh Lipos and the TRI is still able to start lifting this at 50% Throttle and still flying nice!

Therefore It would be great, if you could also provide a wider/bigger Frame Top Part to enable at least Lipos up to 1500 mAh or Lipos in the size of 90 X 35 x 20 mm plus some extra space for the wires....? Do you have planned something in this direction?

By the way, I also recommend to use a high performance and quick digital servo for good tail performance.

Best regards from Germany,


If you look under remixes you'll find an other battery cover that's a bit higher.


the remixed higher battery cover I use already... but I mean the frame part below the battery cover. This could be wider and taller too.... already placing a sweet spot 1500 mAh battery with an XT60 plug is a challenge...

Ok, do you think a 1300 will fit without the remixed cover? I have a bunch of them from my 250 quads.

Dec 3, 2014 - Modified Dec 3, 2014
EMaglio - in reply to stefanli

I've flown mine with a 1300mah pack and the stock cover still fit, though I forget which brand the battery was. The maximum height of the battery must be about 24mm or less.

I fly with the Turnigy 45C 1300mah packs. I didn't actually try the stock cover but I don't believe they'll fit. I have a stock cover printed up. I can try this evening. The packs claim to be 23mm but I think I measured them about 1-2mm taller than that.

Just as a follow up I measured my 1300mah 45C 3S Turigy packs at 25mm (I have 10 of these packs...they were all very close to 25mm). The battery space for the tri looks to be at 22.5mm with the stock cover, so to fit you'd need another 2.5mm added to the battery cover assuming these are the packs you're using.

do you have a video of it flying?

How much is the frame supposed to weigh without any electronics. Mine is 150g counting a strip of velcro.

Anyone care to share their Naze32 PIDs as a starting point? I'm currently running stock and it's apparent that they're a little high.

Sure, I use the following. Most are near the defaults, but I've adjusted them here and there. It's not fully tuned yet, but flies pretty well.

Roll: P 4.0 I 0.030 D 23
Pitch: P 4.0 I 0.030 D 23
Yaw: P 5.0 I 0.045 D 0
Alt: P 5.0 I 0 D 0
Vel: P 12.0 I 0.045 D 1
Pos: P 0.11 I 0
PosR: P 2.0 I 0.08 D 0.045
NavR: P 1.4 I 0.20 D 0.080
Level: P 9.0 I 0,010 D 100
Mag: P 4.0

Roll & Pitch Rate: 0.40
Yaw Rate: 0.80
TPA: 0.20 (this still needs to increase some more, I get oscillations at high power)

@EMaglio I printed the body and motor mount with ABS, and the arms with HIPS.

Apparently HIPS is very similar to ABS (flexion, density, elasticity, etc).

@Stormpegy I got 12A ESCs (with surge up to 20A) flashed with SimonK firmware on Amazon.com

@EMaglio will be installing the electronics this week - I'll send you a video once it's done!

I am trying to find motors i can buy from hobby-king..
What would you recommend??

Cant wait to build one of these.

Don't waste your time there. Spend the extra cash and buy the cobra 2204 1960 kv motors and run them on 4s!

@Xcopter, I am not really interested in going fast/racing plus i dont own any 4s lipos ( mostly 2-3s )
I would like to be able to use 3s/800mah up to 3s/2200mah

Thanks man!
Will grab 3 of them plus some CF props to go with it
With Tri copters, do i need CW and CCW motors or just 3 of the ones you linked? ( sorry very noobish question ( this will be my first time really trying out multi rotors))

Nov 23, 2014 - Modified Nov 23, 2014
jwellman - in reply to Stormpegy

You can run a tri either way since you have the tilt servo that can compensate. However it will tilt less if you use 1 different prop. I prefer for the front 2 props to always spin into the copter. So looking at the tri from the top down with front pointed up I have a CW prop on the left and a CCW prop on the right. Then just pick one of those two for the rear motor. I currently use a CCW prop on the rear but you can use either.

Sorry, just noticed you were referring to the motor, not props. For the motors it doesn't really matter. All my motors are the same...I use locknuts rather than the spinners to attach the props. Getting motors with normal rotation threads makes it easier to find lock nuts.

Thanks for all the help!
So i assume you mean like this http://imgur.com/igRQnmN

Do you class CW or CCW as normal rotation?

Nov 24, 2014 - Modified Nov 24, 2014
jwellman - in reply to Stormpegy

I believe CW is considered "normal". Meaning that the nut tightens when you rotate it in a clockwise rotation...ie "righty tighty". The motor itself has no predetermined rotation. Brushless motors have 3 leads which don't have to be connected in a particular pattern. Swapping any 2 leads will cause the rotation of the motor to reverse.

Like I said, all my motors use CW tightening lock nuts which I picked up at a local home improvement store. Metric sizes in reverse thread are not easily found in town but I can find normal metric lock nuts in most sizes without driving too far! I have spun off spinners when used in the incorrect rotation but never a lock nut.

And your drawing is correct with respect to how I setup the front two motors. My rear motor has a CCW prop on it (same as the one in the top right). This means that the tilt motor leans over about 10-15 degrees when viewed from behind to counteract the torque. If you put on a CW prop then it would tilt to the left by the same amount. When making the linkage for the rear you should center the servo and make the linkage such that when the servo is centered the motor is tilted by this amount. This isn't required but it will make it such that you have the same amount of yaw throw in each direction.

Thanks very much Jwellman
I think i am ready to order some parts.
3x Multistar Elite 2204-2300KV Motors ( CW )
3x Some 15-20amp esc
2x 5030 Carbon props CW/CCW sets
Not sure about the board but probably a Naze32, I have heard good things about those.
Oh yea and some decent little servo,

Thanks for all your help!

Nov 24, 2014 - Modified Nov 24, 2014
jwellman - in reply to Stormpegy

With all the gear talk I've added some links to the gear in my Make with what mine has in it:

Mini FPV Tricopter

12A ESCs should be fine...I think you might have a little challenge getting 20As in there! 20A on the left, 12A on the right. http://imgur.com/ZcZqmt7

Here are some 12A SimonKs

Whatever you get make sure they have SimonK or BLHeli firmware (they're state it if they do...SimonK is more prevalent.) This firmware is made for multirotors which require very fast speed transitions.

For the board the Naze32 is a solid choice. I'm running an AfroMini in mine. The AfroMini and Naze32 are essentially the same but I will say the AfroMini is a little more difficult to setup as it doesn't have onboard USB:

Don't forget some batteries :-)

Also order a bunch of the inexpensive Gemfan (or similar) 5030 props (don't worry about carbon for now). Get about a dozen (or more). There's been times where I was flying my multi rotors through playground equipment that I was going through a lot of props fast :-/

For the motors if you have the option of getting CCW i would get at least one of those (depending on your motor layout). It's good insurance against spinning off props and you don't have to use locknuts if you don't want. Plus it looks like you're in Australia so I'm guessing it's easy to pickup metric hardware ;-)

15-20A ESCs might be overkill, since space is at a premium inside the body. These 12A ones should work well: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__55241__Afro_ESC_12Amp_Ultra_Lite_Multi_rotor_Motor_Speed_Controller_SimonK_Firmware_Version_3.html

Can't go wrong with the Naze32, it's a great board!

What control rod did you use for the servo arm? 2mm? I've got a 2.2MM that doesn't fit.

I'm not sure, just used something that I had lying around. You can just open up the hole a bit until the 2.2mm rod fits.

This thing is AWESOME! Thanks for sharing man ... I can't wait to fly it.

2 questions -

1- Do you have any footage or videos of it flying? Can you link to it?
2- What do you think of HIPS filament? I saw that you prefer PLA (I thought ABS was more rigid)

PLA is more rigid but it doesnt flex. Under stress PLA will shatter but it is waaaay more rigid!
ABS is less rigid but it flexes (and absorbs vibrations). Under stress ABS bends or fatigues

I've got a few random clips but not much that's worth uploading. Thinking of buying a Mobius camera to capture some on-board footage.

Haven't tried HIPS, so I'm not sure how well it'd work. Let us know if you decide to give it a try! My main reason for using PLA is inter-layer adhesion, since early ABS parts were prone to splitting.

How long is the 280mm arm supposed to be mine is 121 mm from end to end? I want to make sure its the right size

Yes, that's the right length. The diameter of the whole copter should be 280mm when assembled.

oh ok, I am new to multirotors so i don't know much. Thanks for the Info! I am printing mine in red white and blue. White Arms, Red center section and blue lower and top cover. America.

What would be good camera to use since the panasonic one is out of production?

Most FPV cameras should work fine. Preferably one on the smaller side in order to save space.

ok thanks

Would the 280mm arms work with this motor? Multistar Elite 2204-2300KV Multi-Rotor Motor (CW Prop Adapter). I am not sure if the screw spacing is correct

I can tell you tomorrow - I fly the T4 Mini with the great Elite motors and I currently print the 280mm arms to use later with HQ 6x4.5 props.



thanks man Standing by

Yes, the screw spacing on the arms will fit those motors.

What's the maximum lift with the tricopter? I'm considering building one but can be good to know what the weight of the whole frame + (reference) electronics is and what room for play there is for FPV gear/cameras.

here is a video of my tricopter, it handels well and it got all the gear :D https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Tvn1wwL6as


Mobius 1080p wideangel
Dys 2300kv
30amp ESC
Servor HS-55
RunCam 600TVL Sony-CCD
200mW, 5,8GHz
1300 3s

Cool! What fpv googles do you use?

fatshark attitude v2 and i just love them :)

The total weight of my build is about 13oz, and it hovers around half throttle. There should be some capability for lifting extra video gear. I plan to strap a Mobius camera to the top, and don't anticipate any issues.

Sounds good. My plan was to probably use a Mobius as well so that's great!

Hi Eric,

I saw your tri-copter design on flitetest a few days back and then I came across it on thingiverse too! Couldn't resist myself and started making your design on my Makerbot immediately! We're going to print you design in our XT material, tough and resistant to heat. Should be great for RC modelling. If you're interested check out our first blog post on this project:

Great design! Thanks!

Printing mine in XT right now.. been using it for a while now. with this material .. I think the arms could have a lot of mass reduced by adding holes or arching them instead of making them solid rectangles..

Nov 10, 2014 - Modified Nov 10, 2014
EMaglio - in reply to ColorFabb

Looks great, love the color scheme! I'll definitely keep an eye on your blog as the build progresses.

I'll have to check out the XT material at some point, seems like it's a good choice for something like this. I've had thin PLA parts deform when left in a hot car all day, so any extra heat resistance is good. I use PushPlastic PLA at the moment, which prints about 20 degrees hotter than most PLA but still 20 degrees cooler than XT.

Really cool man.
Thank you for sharing your design and hard work!

can 20% handle a crash? have you done crash test yet? :P

I printed all PLA with 20% fill, i had couple of crashes, my cheap plastic servo was destroyed, but all printed parts still alive.
Also i reccomend carbon props:) they are very durable!

i printed mine in 25% and it can handel a beating :)

ok will try first then last 3dprinted quad was printed with 80% infill for arm but break on first contact with a free, I wasnt flying fast either :)

Yes, i have problem too. Leg have poor resistance to damage from the side (especially with ABS, with poor layer adhesion). May be would be great to try another layer orientation. Print arm on the side, and print motor mount separately. Then screw/glue them together?

That's the reason I switched to PLA arms. The increased layer adhesion makes them much more durable.

Unfortunately PLA broke like glass :) maybe ABS will bounce. Will see this at the evening :)) I have an idea, to screw thin long bolt inside leg, to reinforce it!:)

I printed this great frame also in PLA and am very happy - but you a right about PLA if you crash too hard it may brake like glass - recognized this with my T4 Mini Quad....
That´s also the reason why I will try soonest possible to print Taulman Nylon Bridge Filament.
On the other side - better to brake the arm "as buffer" than braking the motor or something else...

I have printed a couple of arms in Taulman Bridge (50% and 75% infill). The toughness is incredible, but they are not strong enough for the current design and as a result are too floppy for aggressive flight.
PLA seems to be the best choice so far.

The Taulman bridge nylon sounds like a good idea! Be sure to post the results.

I originally used ABS for the arms, but found that poor inter-layer adhesion killed any strength benefits over PLA. It was easy to split the arms along a layer or to snap a motor mount disc off.

I've since switched to PushPlastic PLA, which is what I've been using to make the kits. It's very high quality stuff and the parts seem pretty tough.

I´m also very happy with my current PLA prints/adhesion... especially after I increased the hotend temp by 10 degree to 215 degree Celsius, but this just valid for the filament and printer I use...

Nylon might be also very interesting becaus it should be possibleto color parts individual with textil colors...

Will try it asap and post the results...

yeap pla broke like a glass, most of the 3d printed quad on Thingverse recommended to be printed with ABS instead of PLA look like for another stress test :)

You guys must be doing somthing wrong, i printet mine in pla 25% infill and i got no problem with broken parts and trust me im a bad pilot so mine have seen some crazy sh't :P

You guys must be doing somthing wrong, i printet mine in pla 25% infill and i got no problem with broken parts and trust me im a bad pilot so mine have seen some crazy sh't :P

You are lucky bad pilot:) try to land on asphalt

You guys must be doing somthing wrong, i printet mine in pla 25% infill and i got no problem with broken parts and trust me im a bad pilot so mine have seen some crazy sh't :P

You guys must be doing somthing wrong, i printet mine in pla 25% infill and i got no problem with broken parts and trust me im a bad pilot so mine have seen some crazy sh't :P

You guys must be doing somthing wrong, i printet mine in pla 25% infill and i got no problem with broken parts and trust me im a bad pilot so mine have seen some crazy sh't :P

such a cool design, thanks for sharing! just got back from the hobby store, will post pics soon.

Nov 3, 2014 - Modified Nov 3, 2014

Hey Thanks for the pictures! im almoste done printing and you have done an amazing job, everything just fits!

I was wonderingif it would be possible to get the original file (none STL) for the tail motor mount and the front arms so i could make some changes becuse the motor holes does not fit with my DYS BE1806-2300KV. i would be happy to send them to you then im done so you can put them up here for others to use :)

Sure, which format? I made the parts in CATIA but can export in .stp or .igs if that'll work.

.Stp would be great! thanks :)

Added the .stp files.

You are my Hero! pictures of mine will be ready in a day or 2 :D

Do those arms fit the 16MM motor spacing like on http://www.emaxmodel.com/views.asp?hw_id=1458? Could you send me the files?

jwellman posted a remixed set of arms with 16mm motor spacing. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:543751

16mm Spacing Motor Mounts

What camera works well? Looks like you have a board cam in there with some kind of special mount?

Awesome looking design. Going to start printing one up soon!


It's an old CX-161 board camera that I had lying around. Most FPV cameras would probably work fine as long as they're not too big.

No problem, I'll add a picture of the yaw mechanism to the image gallery. It's pretty straightforward and consists of an M3x35mm cap screw, a couple of washers, and a lock nut.

Hey your build looks amazing! im printing it right now and gonna pick up the parts to build the rest soon.

i would really like to see a closs up of your tail just so i can make sure i do it the right way :)

Thanks for sharing!